“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.”
Former National Security Administration contractor Edward Snowden warns that entire populations, rather than just individuals, now live under constant surveillance.
The Guardian headline quoted Snowden as saying “It’s no longer based on the traditional practice of targeted taps based on some individual suspicion of wrongdoing,” he said. “It covers phone calls, emails, texts, search history, what you buy, who your friends are, where you go, who you love.”
The former US National Security Agency contractor is living in Russia, having been granted temporary asylum there in June 2013.
Snowden’s documents first leaked to the Guardian last June, revealed that the US government has programs in place to spy on hundreds of millions of people’s emails, social networking posts, online chat histories, browsing histories, telephone records, telephone calls and texts – “nearly everything a typical user does on the internet”, in the words of one leaked document.
We’re helping them do it by doing half the job. We’re spying on ourselves. We wear little cameras, either in the form of smartphones or in the the latest literal wearables (Google Glass, anyone?) that are coming out all the time. We participate in Internet activities, sending emails and visiting social media websites like Facebook and Twitter where our data is knowingly being sucked up with a giant government vacuum cleaner and put into the even-more-giant $3 billion data hub the NSA built in the Utah desert. We’re all being pushed through the green agenda to buy energy-efficient appliances with smart chips in them that can keep track of our resource usage and connect to each other and the grid, thus connecting everything (and us) to that nifty “Internet of Things” Former CIA Director David Petraeus said would be used to spy on us.